Tips for Publishing in the 21st Century Part 2

Today we are picking up where Author/Speaker/Editor Linda Yezak left off sharing about the publishing biz.  She’s busy on a blog tour and agreed to stop by twice to share her wealth of information. Here is the link to part one. The third and final book in her Circle Bar Ranch series Ride to the Altar is now available.  And there is another chance to enter to win her prize package. How cool is that.

Okay, Linda, continue to share with us how to reach our publishing goals.

To be published: This is the easiest possible thing to do. These days, there are hundreds of different ways, from networking with those who already know how and can help, to doing it entirely yourself, to hiring a press. There’s also the option of going with a small, upstart publisher that doesn’t require agent submissions. Here are a few caveats:

Linda Yezak

  • Be aware that self publishing brings with it a stigma we’re still fighting. Granted, now that many of the more successful and established authors are diving in to the hybrid (both traditional and indie) pool, the stigma is easing, but it’s still there. Two ways to fight the stigma: be professional (quality material, quality edits, quality book cover, quality formatting) and give yourself a name as a publisher. When you publish through Amazon, if you don’t have a publisher name, they will provide one—sure sign of self-publishing.
  • If you’re going through a service, research it. All of the services offer everything necessary to get your book on the market. Research everything from how much they charge to where they distribute. Some services suck you in, then continually demand funds. Be careful of what you’re getting yourself into. Check out their book covers. Look up their books on Amazon—use the “Look Inside” feature to see their format. Check other websites to see if their books are offered where they say they are.
  • If you think you’re going through a traditional publisher, and they ask for money for any reason, they are not traditional. Traditional publishers are royalty-paying. They may not all pay an advance, but they do all pay you a percentage from the sales. Read your contract.
  • If you’re going through a small publisher, understand that they’re probably just starting out. If they’re good, they’ll grow over time. But chances are, they’ll go bust. Make sure you retain your rights if they do. Small pubbers don’t have a lot of capital to invest in the books they release. The covers and format may or may not be subpar. Many of these publishers take on “apprentice” editors—unpaid beginners who need the experience. Best for you to go through a proven freelancer before trusting your work to these. Some are really good, but you never know.

 

To develop a lifelong career as a writer: I’ll dub this the be patient route. The process is slow, frustrating, and ultimately rewarding. All of the work that’s required in the other goals are required here also:

  • Build a platform (get out there in cyberspace and get known, the sooner, the better).
  • Join a professional organization and network with others from editors and agents. to website designers and marketers to other authors. Keep their business cards.
  • Study the craft (and write, write, write).
  • Have your work critiqued and edited.
  • Study the agents and publishers to see where you’d fit best.
  • This is hard, and it takes forever. Make use of the time by writing more.
  • If you’re not one of the few who gets an agent and gets published by a big name the first time around, self-publish. Learn how to do it. Learn how to promote yourself. Learn how to manage your books.
  • Repeat the process with your next project, and keep repeating until you have what you want. You’re not a one-and-done author, you’re wanting to make a career out of this. Keep at it.

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Before being indie became such a hit, I read about one author who went with small publishers for sixteen years before he hit it big. Now he’s huge.

For myself, in 2011, I went with a small, traditional publisher who ultimately cut my genre from her line. From there, I took the book the indie route and had the second novel published by another small (now mid-sized) press. I’ve been indie ever since, and only recently have I looked back toward going traditional again. My next work will release in November in a collection published by Firefly, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (a midsized publisher). Meanwhile, I have three novels and one novella published independently and one novella published in a collection with some friends.

My goal is to have the validation of a big-name publisher someday, but I’m not sitting on my thumbs until it happens. Once I finish my next novel, I’m hitting the trail again in search of an agent. We’ll see what happens.

You’ve given us some great tips to consider. Now share about your giveaway.

I’m offering a giveaway package during the blog tour. When the two-week tour is over, all those who commented throughout the tour will be eligible for the drawing for the prize. It includes a signed print version of the series, a 16-ounce Christian cowboy mug, a horseshoe picture frame, a Ph. 4:13 stretch bracelet, a cute set of magnetic page markers, and a Texas Rubiks cube. I’d like for each blog post to carry a link to the next post in the tour, so readers will have multiple opportunities to enter.  If you go to the next blog stop tomorrow you’ll get additional chance to win. Lynn Mosher https://lynnmosher.com/    

More about Linda:

Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, PB, in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee—with a caramel creamer. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn’t begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing.

 

Website: http://lindawyezak.com

Newsletter: http://dld.bz/CoffeewithLinda

Facebook: Author Page

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyezak/

Twitter: @LindaYezak

Amazon Page: http://dld.bz/LWYAmazonPage

Goodreads: Linda W Yezak

 

 

Don’t forget you must comment in this post below. No comments on social media where I’ll be sharing this post will count. Take a look at the great prizes package. You had a total for four chances. This post, Tuesdays post and the two other posts mentioned today and Tuesday. And if you become a groupie on her blog tour you have more chances to get your name in the cowboy hat to in.

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Accountability Partners vs Mentors : Why writers need them

Accountability and Mentoring grow your writing career and improve your craft.

Accountability and Mentoring grow your writing career and improve your craft.

Every writer at some point in his career needs an accountability partner and a mentor. Both help grow your career and make you a better writer. Some people get the two terms confused. Let me start by defining terms.

Accountability partners work together to achieve a variety of goals. Accountability isn’t unique to writers. Weight control groups and gyms offer accountability for success in achieving health goals. Partners report their weight loss or number of sit ups on a weekly basis. The end result of a successful partnership is not only achieving their weight loss or exercise goals but developing habits of good health that last a life time.

Mentors have gone before you. They have already achieved their goals. In the case of writers, they are published, know how to market and may even know the ins and outs of social media. They know what it takes to be successful A mentor guides and instructs writers to improve their craft.

Sometimes a mentor can hold a mentee accountable for reaching his goals and ask his mentee to do the same for him.

The one big difference: a mentor is usually farther along in his career. While an accountability partner can be on an equal level or a newbie. The end game is slightly different in each setting.

What to expect from an Accountability Partner

Accountability partners enter into a verbal agreement to report progress on a weekly basis. Each individual sets a goal for the week and then reports his progress at the end of the week. Accountability partners can also be critique partners. You each agree to critique portions of the other’s writing every week. Here’s where it can get sticky. Accountability partners need to be realistic. The burden has to be equally shared. If you want your partner to critique a chapter a week you better be willing and able to do the same for them. If you need your foot held to the fire for completing a certain number of pages or words a day then be sure to do your part.

Don’t abuse your partner. If she critiques your work, but you don’t have time to do the same, don’t bother to enter into this partnership. Hire an editor. It’s not fair to expect more from your partner than you have time to give.

How to best learn from your mentor

Mentors are wonderful things as long as you don’t rely on them too heavily. They’re not your personal editor or manuscript fixer. Don’t take advantage by expecting him or her to introduce you to their agent or open doors for you. It could happen, but that is not their job description. Mentors or coaches may give you assignments to help strengthen weak areas. If they do critiques for you, take full advantage by working hard to make your writing shine. Don’t throw rough drafts at them to fix. Instead present your best work for evaluation. That’s how you learn to improve your craft. Be open to their correction and insights.

 

The value of an accountability partner

Accountability partners are something you can keep throughout your writing career. The partner may change over time for various reasons. Many writers don’t work for a magazine or publisher who give them deadlines. Your partner becomes that deadline. Striving to give an honest report of goals achieved will keep you on track. You can create your own deadlines for creating submissions, editing and reading craft books by setting those goals with your accountability partner.

When you might need a mentor

Writers should continue to grow and improve. A writer can learn much from craft books, conferences and classes. There comes a time you might needed a mentor when one on one counseling and training will help you improve your writing, editing or marketing. Their goal: reproduce new outstanding writers.

Where are you in your career?

Do you need your foot held to the fire to achieve your goals or help perfecting your craft? Or both?

Love to hear your thoughts on mentoring and accountability.

 

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